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Stress, Good and/or Bad

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It's been a while for one of these. I have an odd habit of doing one rough a year. Looking at the last one, it's been more than that. But I did two in a month so that's got me covered.

I usually always have a reason for these, rarely are they just some update of life is life. Whether I feel like thinking about heady subjects or just getting lost in words, there's a reason. This feels a little more like its going to be update-ish. A lot of stuff has happened and with nothing to do before FFXV and no time to talk after, it was a good time.

So where I want to begin? I can't say the beginning, since that goes back further than I want. I'll jump back there later down the write up. So strap in for another long and meandering walk through my mind. The immediate subject I want to address is my general absence from all things that you may know me to be on. It started about two months ago, but it's been starting since the summer back in July. About the only thing I try to keep up on here is the news, I own the news like or hate it, so I feel obligated to keep posting it. I kept up for while on it during everything happening, but it became unsustainable after a while. And then I pretty much retreated completely.

The reason(s) for that are the bulk of what this is about. The last five months has been probably one of the most stressful, busy and generally all around packed with things my life has ever been. While I never really hit my high school/middle school ulcer inducing levels of stress. I haven't really been this stressed in a long time for this consistently.

The core reason of it, there are indeed multiple sources, but the core reason was the fact that I got a new job in the company I'm working at as an artist working on the current game. For those that know me, I've been wanting an artist job for a long time, so it was a goal finally realized. But in a matter of weeks, it went from 40 hours to just get the work done. So I shot up to 70-80 hours instantly. There were nights that I was not getting home until midnight. So having any free time for anything was pretty much non-existent.

My former free time was heavily consumed. I love the work, love doing it and wanted to keep doing it. So I easily lost track of time and got very absorbed into things. So everything else ended up suffering for it. The first hit was here for any news posting. You probably noticed after E3 my news posting became fewer and fewer until it completely disappeared. So physical time in the day was gone.

Fun stuff. However, the job is a temp position. My old job is full time, so thankfully I kept all of my benefits and everything. So after it is over I just move back. But stress comes in where I'm trying everything I can to prove myself in the hopes that it becomes a permanent and not temp position. So its stressing about every detail, did I say the right things, am I being too unfamiliar about things I shouldn't be. Is my work poor, am I too slow? Lots of stuff, since I want it to become something more, stress mounts quite easily.

Thankfully so far for all of my worrying, they like my work and are really happy with it. And they want me to stay, though it is more complicated than that since it is about money/staffing/team size, etc. So even if they want me, it may still not be in the cards. So that is a little sad to think about. Out of it though I get my first industry professional work for my portfolio. Meaning even if it doesn't go anywhere, I can start using it to search elsewhere.

And now on to the other time sink I have, I'm making my own game. Game development itself is bad enough with larger teams, trying to make my own game and not a small one is a massive time investment. A large part of the first half of this year and later was spent on that. So any spare free time is dumped onto that. And since I work for a game company, I have to think about it and if it is a competing product. So I had presentations and meetings to work that out and worry over how any of that would go. Thankfully, it went well and we're free and clear to make it.

After a cool down, back to the heavier emotionally taxing stuff. Something that's been happening as a result of my job is that I don't get to spent time in my normal routine. This meant not hanging out with people I normally do. So I ended up getting extremely lonely feeling in the last few months and worrying about this being my new life. Where I'm sacrifice heavy amounts of personal time for extended periods of time for work. And making relationships suffer for it. Finding that work/life balance is important, but it is sometimes not always possible. Sometimes work just has to get done and its not short.

The place it hit the worst was in FFXIV, since it is a community and I have a bunch of people there I know and do things together with. But ever since I've been left out of a lot of things because I've been too busy. And now it is where I don't even get asked, they just assume I'm too busy. So I've been pondering quitting because playing a multiplayer game alone is just not fun. The reason I play would be gone. I haven't yet, still continuously subbed for 3+ years now, but I think about it more and more with each day. I've been talking about it to them, so I'm hoping it improves. It'll be a wait and see approach for now. And playing it by ear day by day.

And to get to the heaviest part now, which I've hesitated mentioning. But its end up coming out one way or another, so saying nothing will probably just make it more awkward later on. But I've started dating someone, first time and long distance and online, so its already off to a great start. The worries, stress, baggage are all very, very real and quite trying.

It's all very complicated and I have a lot of incomplete unresolved feelings. Since I have reservations about doing anything like this so blind as to not even know the other person physically. There is something really romantic about only knowing someone by their personality and the core of who they with the physical getting in the way. But words can lie just like eyes. Hence, it becomes complicated and stressful. Everyday is second guessing myself and reassuring myself. Trying to reconcile everything about it and my reservations. Its me being bold and just jumping in and now panicking because the water is deeper than I thought it was.

They love me for who I am and were very persistent despite all of my reservations about it. So I feel more hopeful than in despair. But that doesn't shake all of those lingering doubts that poke the back of your mind. They continue to reassure me and comfort me through it all. So it feels positive and encouraging. The real test I think will be eventually meeting face to face if we survive that long.

After all of that, comes the worst part that I'm going to keep intentionally and painfully vague. Simply put its not something I'm ready to discuss yet. But put shortly, I wrote a novel last year. One that was a very personal one that made me far more self-reflective than I expected to it. Some people write poems to work out their feelings and problems. I write 200 page novels, to each their own. I'm still the same crazy as well, that'll never change. I don't do things small or simple. For good or ill anyway. But it left me facing something very major in my life and I'm working through how I want to deal with that. And that makes for the big stress of them all.

So all in all, its been a stressful 5 months and year depending on where you look at it. Stress is a weird thing, because for me I think I end up acknowledging and managing it differently. Like I say work was stressful, but in reality I didn't feel it at all. I was having fun and cruising along. But I look and think about it, oh I was stressing about everything. But at the same time I was loving everything and having blast. So it was good stress. In a way anyway. It can be motivating and push along. But it can also be nasty and bad and just churn everything up really badly. Which was what a lot of the other sorts were. It all comes in different degrees. And the worst is the sort that just makes you ill and sick and you can't really function properly. You don't want to do anything. Which is different than what I used to get as a kid, it'd be the pit of your stomach almost ulcer like. While more recently its just sort of like I'm sick rather than ulcer inducing. Neither is preferred for the other.

I always imagined that I would have a very stressful life since I just stressed easily about things. But college hit and I became really chill about things. Everything just came in strides and I had almost no stresses. Sure I'd worry about having time to get things done or whatever, but it was just a speed bump rather than a sink hole. So for a long time even at work I've managed to keep in a pretty low stress environment, which seems crazy to think being in the game industry where everything is high stress. But I just never really let it get to me. Even now, with the work I'm doing its not eating away at me. But I know the stress is there. I just have to be more self aware. And maybe certain types just don't affect me anymore. Its really hard to say. Its a complicated thing. Being relaxed is the best because its better on your body, but having some is still good to keep things moving. And I'm hoping to start easing up on things as I adapt to all of the changes happening.

As for things here. I'm getting back into a rhythm with my work and personal life. And a lot of that is getting back to my personal obligations. While FFXV is going on I won't be doing anything for news. But my goal is to get back to it for Christmas vacation and start getting more present again. My unintended absence will hopeful come to an end soon.

Enjoy Final Fantasy XV everyone, I will be.

~~Andromeda the Kitty~~

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  1. loaf's Avatar
    I'm afraid to hit Like and then Facebook is like HEY LOOK AT THIS!

    I've been wanting to force myself to be more busy to get away from games cause I feel I don't get anything done.